Wednesday, November 12, 2008
EU Court Says LEGO Can't Trademark Its Bricks
The AP reports that a EU court sas that LEGO rival Mega Brands can keep selling knockoff bricks.
LEGO has been around forever -- this year it celebrated the 50th anniversary of the classic System brick. But this great accomplishment is also a weakness, as all of its patents have expired.
This is the reason that cheeseball rivals like Mega are allowed to do what they do. Look at the picture above. The brick on the left is a Duplo made by LEGO. The brick on the right is a knockoff made by Mega. The quality difference is visible even in a photo. The Duplo is bright and clean, the Mega-Blok is cheap and faded and obviously uses thinner plastic. The two types of bricks interlock, because Mega wants to leech business off of LEGO.
This year, if you're in the market for a building toy, stay away from Mega. There are a lot of systems out there that have great and original ideas of their own K'nex, ZOOB, LEGO and others -- that deserve your business.
(Mega Brands also sells Magnetix, the magnetic toy recalled after 1,500 incidents were reported of the magnets falling out. One toddler died and 26 had to undergo emergency surgery after the magnets were swallowed.)
at 8:41 AM